$5M Punitive Award Reversed In Philip Morris Engle Suit

Law360, New York (May 2, 2012, 9:01 PM EDT) -- A Florida appeals court reversed a $5 million punitive damages award Wednesday in a so-called Engle progeny suit against Philip Morris USA Inc., ruling it was time-barred based on the date the plaintiff's deceased husband was found to have relied on the company's statements about its cigarettes.

The suit brought by the estate of Stuart Hess was one of thousands lodged after the Florida Supreme Court overturned a $145 billion verdict and decertified a class in Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. in 2006. The ruling allowed up to 700,000 class members to sue using the jury's eight liability findings.

While the...

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